When I began saltwater fishing seriously (or as seriously as I can be) I read any book I could get my hands on pertaining to the subject. Over 25 years ago there were not as many books on the subject as today. Furthermore the Internet was still a dream for the most of us.
This is the first book review entry to the reviews section that will hopefully turn into a library in the future. Someone asked me a week or two ago “What are your credentials”? Please keep in mind, I am not a professional writer or reviewer. I’m just a guy that loves time on the water and wants to help anyone enjoy this passion, pastime, hobby, or life.
The fist book review I decided to do was “Skinny: How to Fish in Shallow Saltwater” by Capt. Mel Berman with Gary Poyssick.
The cover of the book speaks “skinny fishing” to me with a beautiful picture of tailing reds taken by our own Sam Root. The 217 pages are broken up into three major sections.
The first section is “Fishing where the fish are” and goes into finding structure, planning your trip,positioning your boat and what to look for which gives clues on how to read the water and what the activity of various birds mean.
The second section pertains to preparation for the trip, namely packing for your trip which includes rigging, various lures and their applications, a couple of pages sharing the importance of sun protection and the products that help with that. Finally there is a fairly detailed section on choosing a suitable rod or reel. Since this is such a varied topic this section gives the attributes of various rods and reels as opposed to just saying buy this rod or that rod. It requires the reader to sit down and actually think about what they want giving them the tools to make an informed decision.
The last major part of the book is our favorite – time on the water – and includes using live bait, which has an instructional for tossing a cast net along with the various attributes of those nets plus how to rig live baits.
There are about 24 pages on recognizing the various species we target with photographs some explanation of their characteristics. Snook, reds, trout, tarpon pompano and permit, cobia, ladyfish along with many others are listed. Instructions on how to hook a target fish and what to do in fighting a fish are very helpful reminders even to the advanced angler.
The last 40 or so pages include recipes, a few letters to Capt. Mel asking various fishing questions, current (at print) Florida Fishing Regulations and instructions on how to use Google Earth to find locations where fish my be found.
I found the book to be easy to read and understand and the pictures and diagrams most helpful. I think this is a “must read” for a beginner or even intermediate angler and yet it has the reminders (“I knew that”) that we often forget and some valuable tips for the advanced angler. It can take years off the learning curve. I wish I would have had this book so many years ago. I might would have become a “respectable” fisherman, if such a thing exists.
If you would like to read a chapter of the book you can click here to a link where you could do that and you can even purchase your own copy for your library (or one for a fishing buddy) thru this link. The price of the book is a reasonable $19.99 + tax and if you type in the promotional code SaltyShores you will get the book shipped to you free of shipping charges. If you prefer to go to your local tackle shop for your copy, They are available at The Back Country in Vero Beach,FL., Andy Thornal’s in Winter Haven,FL., Stones’ Outhouse and Big Fish Bait & Tackle in Lakeland, FL. If you are in Tampa or St. Pete most of the better tackle shops are carrying them plus the better shops in Bradenton and Sarasota that also includes Gibsonton and Ruskin and quite a few other locations. If your store doesn’t have it, ask for it.
For whatever reason the link I had no longer work.
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